Safety News You Can Use- Preventing Heat Related Illnesses


Each year thousands of workers suffer heat related illnesses, up to and including death.

Health related illnesses can affect anyone to some degree, but certain employees are more susceptible such as

  • New employees starting a job requiring physical activity
  • Older employees who may not be physically fit or are overweight
  • Employees with heart problems or other physical disabilities.
  • Employees required to work outside in the sun over an extended period of time.
  • Employees working around hot equipment or metal.
  • Employees who have been drinking alcohol.
  • Employees who have had a previous heat stress disorder.

To avoid heat related disorders, it is recommended that employees practice the following safety tips:

Acclimatize to the temperature over a period of time.  Most people acclimatize to warmer temperatures in 4 to 7 days.

Practice Safe Work Methods

  • Drink plenty of water, the body can lose up to 3 gallons of water in one day.
  • Avoid alcohol – alcohol causes dehydration.
  • Eat lightly – this reduces the need for the body to send blood to digest large meals, taking blood away from the skin
  • Rest as necessary – this gives the body a chance to cool off.  Rest in the shade or a well ventilated area.

Use proper personal protective equipment when working outside wear:

  • Hats with protective brims
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweatbands
  • Light clothing, preferably cotton which will allow air to circulate & sweat to evaporate
  • Proper footwear
  • Plan the work – if possible.  Try to do most strenuous work during the cooler periods of the day.
  • Pace yourself – work at a steady rate, avoiding overexertion.
  • Let’s keep summertime one of the best times of the year by taking the necessary steps to reduce heat related illnesses for all your employees.

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